It’s All How It’s Dished Out

I’ve had this long-standing theory and perhaps I’ve written about it before. But this has been one of those weeks that I remind myself that life is all about balance.

Basically, we’re born and we die. Now, that period between those two monumental events of our life is filled with good stuff and bad stuff. It’s how the world works. It’s not perfect, it’s not evil. Here, let me show you this chart.

The Tim Hunter Hypothesis is that we are all given the same amount of good and bad in our lifetime. If you sat down, created two columns and started listing every good thing that’s happened to you on one side and all the bad stuff on the other, by the time you’d reach the end, you’d see that we get equal amounts of both.

Here’s the challenge. During your life, it comes in random amounts. Like, say, this week, I easily had a much larger dose of bad stuff happen than good. Oh, and there was good. I got to hold my new granddaughter and play with the grandkids. I was able to direct a video shoot for some new commercials for a client. I enjoyed a romantic dinner with my wife at Picolino’s on Valentine’s Day. I’m having lunch today with a long-time friend who beat cancer last year.  I continue to be able to write and play and create in this career-like-job I’ve crafted over the past several years.

But there was a ton of things you could consider bad stuff. Outside of my world, there was that horrific school shooting down in Florida. (see my previous blogs on that topic–I’m tapped out)  My main computer decided to wig out. The one on which most of my writing and producing is done. Things that should have taken seconds crawled along. I had to research, experiment, delete and install, all eating up the time I would normally do each week’s regular projects.  On top of that, my cell phone has been acting up and while not mentioning the company by name because they’ve been nice, a supposed fix to the port has resulted in a half-dozen visits to their store. They’ve had to install a second new screen, have gone through two ports and today, I have to drop it off and be phoneless the bulk of the day. Doable, but it just adds to the challenge.

I found out that a $1,000 check I had deposited a month ago never made it in. It was that “depositing by phone” thing that failed, but I just assumed it went in. As you can imagine, funds went short a couple of times.

Clients needed things yesterday. Extra projects came up.  Precious time disappeared so that I would get up even earlier than 4am just to get it all done.

Its weeks like this one that I remember the chart. So, I had a few challenges and, if I were keeping a weekly score, the bad probably won out over the good this week. No matter. I just take it all in stride and remember that it must mean a bunch of good is coming my way. If not next week, the week after. Eventually, it all balances out.

When life gets tough, just remember that there’s good on the way. Remember the chart. It’s all about balance. It’s all about how it’s dished out.

It really is.

Tim Hunter

Be A Tourist

When you feel like time is blurring by…when you find yourself saying, “Wow, it’s already February!”…when you have to stop and think, “Uh, what day is this again?”: be a tourist.

It dawned on me the other day at Universal Studios Hollywood. While my wife and I have a strong affection for Disneyland, Universal is the place we just don’t go to that often. But when we do, we have a blast and I turn into a kid again.

Norman Bates loading something in his trunk. He must be spring cleaning.

During that four-hour visit, despite the world-famous Los Angeles traffic to and from our destination, I had a non-stop smile on my face. We went on fantasy rides in the Harry Potter area, enjoyed that Simpsons adventure (which is just hilarious) and even made it through the “Walking Dead” zombie house. I was grinning from ear-to-ear the entire time and when I took so many pictures and video that my phone died, I became detached from the outside world.  No emails, no text messages, no news updates. I didn’t know what the stock market was doing or what the president had said or anything happening outside the park. I was present, enjoying the California sun and just having fun.

The experience reminded me that, being a tourist is probably something we should incorporate more into our day-to-day lives. That care-free, forget-about-the-problems-of-the-world outlook that I’m sure does my mental health a world of good.

I was being a tourist in southern California, but thousands of people do the same thing in Seattle where I now live. You can be a tourist anywhere. It’s more of a mental than physical thing and I have a feeling there are some rewards there that we all should be tapping into.

So, some friendly advice, as you navigate your way through another busy, crazy hectic work week: when you can, set aside a couple of hours for yourself, go some place fun and treat yourself to an escape.

Be a tourist.

Tim Hunter

A Picture Perfect Life

I’d like to introduce you to a friend of mine, Bruce Johnson. Or, as he was known for years on KOMO radio when Larry Nelson did commercials for his photography studio, Bruce Rowland– “65th Street’s slickest shutter snapper!”

Back in the 1950s, Bruce’s dad launched Rowland Studios just east of Greenlake, in the Ravenna area. I can’t tell you how many years he was in that same studio, but he was there more than not, right on 65th street, just off Roosevelt. That’s where Bruce learned the craft of taking amazing, beautiful, well-thought-out pictures, eventually taking over his father’s business. Bruce continues to take phenomenal pictures, using both cameras and his cellphone. He’s just got that eye, that vision, and always will.

I met Bruce back in the day when I was Larry Nelson’s producer on KOMO and Bruce and Ballard attorney Tom Treece were pretty much part of Lar’s Three Amigos. They weren’t always together as a trio, but usually when I’d see one and he would leave, the other would soon show up.  Bruce operated Rowland Studios, where practically everyone who worked at KOMO had their portraits done. Yes, that was back in the day of a studio and portraits and packages that cost hundreds of dollars, all shot on film. On top of that, Rowland Studios was pretty much THE school photographer. Anyone who went to school in Seattle has at least school photo tucked away in a book with the word “Rowland” down at the bottom or on the back.
Here’s a video I put together for him, when he was trying to shore up his Senior Picture business.

I knew Bruce as a crazy Swede. He loved to party. On St. Patrick’s Day one year, I remember he came by KOMO radio and visited Larry in the control room with some female friend of his painted green and in a bikini. When I first started at KOMO, he would call up Larry’s office number (an office we shared) and when I answered, he identified himself as Arnie Schmatz, a pseudonym that he liked to use. As I became involved with Larry’s extended family, I would get to know and hear stories about some of Bruce’s hunting buddies. Yes, part of his fall routine was going to Chehalis and returning with lots of stories and a winter’s supply of venison.

At his recent retirement party, there were lots of his pictures on display from over the years, including this one of our buddy, Larry Nelson.

Bruce also took Larry’s last portrait that remains on display in my office to this day. Lar’s quick departure a decade ago from lung cancer really hit Bruce hard. In fact, I believe it was a year later that he gave up drinking and has been dry ever since. He proudly announced he had passed his 9th year of sobriety when I arrived at his party.

Even though I wasn’t close with his family or his three beautiful daughters, I watched them grow up because one of Bruce’s holiday traditions included sending out a photo card with a group shot featuring his three girls. Years ago by themselves, and these days, with their families.

Bruce’s retirement party was held at his oldest daughter’s house, and the second I saw her, I remembered a Christmas card gag from longs ago. Larry Nelson had gone to her wedding and while he was there, had his picture taken with her in her wedding dress. The following Christmas, he sent out the photo with no explanation and of course, everyone on the receiving end immediately thought, “Oh, my God, he got married again. And look how young she is!”

This is the crowd I hung out with.

My KOMO radio days are 34 years behind me, but Bruce and I have stayed in touch and kept up with each other’s lives over the years. Bruce is a colorful part of the tapestry of my life.  As he steps into retirement after taking on cancer and defeating it last year, he continues to post on Facebook his photos of coffee and (insert location here). For all he’s been through, I believe now more than ever that he’s fully embracing the “make every day count” concept and I’m extremely happy for him. So many people say they’re going to start doing that and, like a New Year’s resolution, it’s not long until it was just a short-lived good intention. In the retirement card I gave him, I included a certificate good for one retirement lunch at Mike’s Chili in Ballard, one of his favorite haunts. I look very forward to sitting down and flashing back to the days of Lar and all the crazy times that were had. And I plan to make those happen a little bit more frequently because the good times we enjoy today are the ones we’ll be remembering tomorrow.

Life may not have been perfect for Bruce, but his pictures always are.

Congrats on your retirement, Mr. Johnson-Rowland- Schmatz. A very well-deserved new beginning and I know you’re going to really make this count.

Tim Hunter

Bruce is the one on the right

Wacky Week Podcast EPISODE 144

Hang on, we’re going back to my early radio days. First, you’ll hear a comedy demo tape I sent to Ross Schafer with the hope of getting involved with “Almost Live” and, as you know, I didn’t. Then, we’ll go back even further to the first episode of my college radio comedy program, “Tim Hunter’s Return to Normalcy.” Damn, seems like just a few years ago….

The View From My Desk

I sit here, looking out at a New Year before us. What will we do with the opportunities? How will we handle the challenges?  Will things break us, or will we emerge stronger than ever?

Awful heady stuff for a sunny, Wednesday afternoon in the Pacific Northwest, but I’m reminded that I owe endless thanks to God above for being in my current situation. As my brain keeps slinging the concepts, I continue to get my biggest rewards from grabbing those passing thoughts and converting them into tangibles–jokes, comedy bits, blogs, you name it. And I would not be living this dream if things hadn’t fallen into place exactly as they did.

But it’s one thing to have the pieces fall into place–are you going to take advantage of it?  I believe I am doing exactly that, doing creative projects on a daily basis in the 10-ring circus I call my career. I spoke with Bill Wright this week, producer of those Wizard of Oz audio books I voiced back in the 1990s. He’s got a new TV project that he’s asked me to join in, that would put a spotlight on some unsung heroes of World War II. Cool stuff. Tomorrow, I have meetings with two of our Create Impulse clients, Sole Perfection Shoes and NW Plus Credit Union, with new radio and TV spots, and coming up with other marketing concepts a part of those sessions. Next Monday, I shoot video for the Northshore Schools Foundation, to help them tell their story.  Oh, and this day also included this blog, my latest edition of the Wacky Week podcast and my daily contribution to Radio-Online, a show prep service for disc jockeys.  A steady, busy flow of projects that some people would call work, but for me, they’re outlets. And by getting those ideas out of my head and into some exterior form, I can begin brainstorming about whatever comes next.

The corporate headquarters for Tim Hunter Creative Services is right here in the corner of my little man cave downstairs at my home. This room has been a green screen studio, an audio recording studio and is the home of the Logitech keyboard from which everything originates. It’s my space, my creative setting. To my left, a collection of CD’s and DVD’s that contain radio bits, sound effects, background music and more. Just above them is a collection of celebrity photos I’ve gathered over the years from people I’ve interviewed, including David Hasselhoff and Katey Sagal. Go further up and you’ll bump into Seahawk photos and memorabilia. To the right, at eye level, is a collection of the people that inspire me and keep me going. My kids, the grandkids, my wife and the picture of my dad from his memorial. Up from there, my Husky Hall of Fame, with lots of pictures of me with players. There’s a JP Patches Nutcracker, a photo of my radio mentor Larry Nelson, autographed pictures of Kathi Goertzen and Stan Boreson and a bunch of odds and ends that demonstrate I’m pretty much a freak. I mean, how many people have their own St. Tim candle?

It gets drilled into me more and more as we lose people over the years, we watch stores close that we thought would be around forever and everything we know is turned into trivia for the next generation, we don’t need to make every day count–we need to cherish the seconds. If you’re starving for a resolution, get in the habit of hitting the brakes routinely, look around and realize as much as humanly possible, just how fortunate we truly are.

Take a breath, enjoy what surrounds you and savor this gift while you’re able to fully embrace it. That’s my plan for the New Year and beyond.

2018, come over here and give me a big hug!

Tim Hunter

My Predictions for 2018

Right before the start of the New Year, I like to polish the old crystal ball (no really, I polish it. That’s not an euphemism) and create a collection of bold predictions of things I feel will happen in the year to come. I make them with 100% accuracy. Oh, they’re rarely correct, but it’s accurate to say that I always make them.

Nostradamus actually predicted the world would end in 2018. Then again, he also had the Mariners winning the World Series last year.

So, bet the house–here’s what I predict will happen in 2018:

  • President Donald Trump will post something offensive and awkward on Twitter. (OK, that’s my one softball)
  • A small girl from Kansas will throw a bucket of water on Hillary Clinton, causing her to melt.
  • Disney expands their Star Wars franchise by launching a new TV series, “Dancing with the Ewoks!”
  • Meryl Streep admits she knew it all along. Then reveals she meant that “She Devil” was her worst movie ever.
  • Bernie Sanders gives a riveting, 20-minute speech about the unfairness of our society. No one in the bathroom is impressed.
  • Al Franken announces that he’ll run for president as the candidate of the newly-formed “Honky-Honky” Party.
  • In an incident that causes Jeff Bezos to give up drinking, he gets so stewed one night that he actually buys Amazon from himself.
  • Speaking of Amazon, they introduce 30-minute deliveries of all beef products. Their new service is called Amazon Prime Rib.
  • The Seattle Times announces they are replacing all newspaper delivery boys with drones. Both of the remaining subscribers express concern.
  • YouTube introduces a new channel for video selfies, called MeTube.
  • Russia Vladimir Putin wins re-election by a landslide, two months before the actual election.
  • France bans Smartphones from elementary schools starting in September. In a popular move, congress votes to ban all cell phones from the oval office. Thank you.
  • After fighting bankruptcy for years, Sears finally closes all of their stores. However, no one notices until 2019.
  • Prince Harry and Meghan Markle exchange vows in a ceremony performed by Mr. Bean. Meghan honors the memory of Benny Hill by tying a piece of elastic to her bouquet for the toss.
  • In December, Mommy accuses Santa Claus of forcibly kissing her, underneath the mistletoe last night.
  • In North Korea, Kim John-un is finally forced out and replaced by Christopher Plummer.
  • Melania Trump records a song to raise money for charity. The way it works is, if you make a donation, she won’t release it.
  • Garrison Keillor attempts a comeback, changing the name of his fictional town of Lake Wobegon, to Lake Whoa-is-Me!
  • Finally, TaylorMade announces the first ever self-driving golf ball, allowing golfers to focus on what’s really important–tracking down the beer cart.

I had to hurry up and get this list out before they all come true. Thanks for stopping by throughout the year and letting me take you on a tour of what’s running through my mind.

Have a very Happy New Year and all the best in 2018.

Notice I didn’t include my prediction about you and that…well, enough said.

Tim Hunter